Reopening the economy despite the coronavirus pandemic?

According to an article published in the New York Times, in 23/03, “President Trump was considering reopening the economy, over health experts’ objections”.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” President Trump has said in a briefing. “America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

President Trump is not alone. The stay-at-home measures are an economic nightmare.

According to the same NYT article, Wall Street executives and conservative economists “began questioning whether the government had gone too far and should instead lift restrictions that are already inflicting deep pain on workers and businesses.”

Meanwhile, President Trump has reviewed his position. It seems he has retracted.

But let’s pretend he didn’t. What would happen?

Would opening the economy avoid mass-unemployment, thousands of bankruptcies, social unrest and all the many evils of a lengthy – even if partial – closing of the economy?

Would it raise his prestige and leadership? It’s doubtful.  

The American economy is not as disconnected from the rest of the world, as many people think. And economics depends also, largely, on collective behaviors and social dynamics, which are rather unpredictable, in the current context.

Besides, isolated measures – even if taken by the economic superpower – would not change global and national economic trends.

Over and above, many sectors – hotels, aviation, traveling, restaurants and so on – will not return to normality as long as the threat of the virus lasts.

In short: it could be a huge failure for President Trump and America, especially if other countries got better results by following health experts’ recommended strategies.

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